Starting Is Easy, Finishing Is Hard
Starting a company has gotten much easier over the past decade.
The capital requirements to get started have come way down in both software and hardware businesses.
The supply of seed and venture capital has increased dramatically as well.
And there are all sorts of programs aimed at helping entrepreneurs get started.
All of this has caused a rapid expansion of entrepreneurship, startups, and innovation.
This is all great.
The one thing that has not gotten appreciably easier in the last decade is finishing.
Finishing can be anything that ends a startup project.
It can be an M&A exit, becoming a sustainable business, becoming a public company, or it could also be failing and shutting down.
None of those have gotten easier in the last decade.
There was a period where the “acquihire” was a thing and many companies that could not figure out how to become a business got bought for their talent.
But it feels like that wave has come and gone.
And so entrepreneurs and the investors who support them are back to grinding it out, trying to get to the finish line.
And, for many, that finish line feels like it is moving farther and farther away every step you take.
Startups are not for the faint of heart, both on the founder and investor side.
It takes great tenacity to see things through. And I think that may be truer today than ever.